Fire's expansion protected list features minor surprises

MLS clubs were required to submit the names of eleven players that each team would protect from selection by New York City FC and Orland City SC ahead of this Wednesday’s expansion draft. The Fire’s protected list includes a few minor surprises in Juan Luis Anangono and Robert Earnshaw. Because clubs are required to “protect” a certain number of internationals (total number minus three) both Anangono and Earnshaw were added to the list although neither is expected to return next season. In Anagono’s case, he has had some success on loan at LDU Quito and the Fire may be able to move him to an interested club in South America this January.

Among the other nine names protected by the Fire there aren’t many surprises. Alex’s option was not picked up and the Fire are looking to bring him back at a lower rate than his 2014 salary so his inclusion may be considered another small upset. He also no longer qualifies as an international since he received a green card last June. Quincy Amarikwa, Razvan Cocis (the third international), Sean Johnson, Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee, Patrick Nyarko, Lovel Palmer, and Matt Watson are the others on the safe list.

Homegrown players Harry Shipp, Chris Ritter, and Victor Pineda are also exempt from selection although Pineda is out of contract.

The list of players available to the two expansion teams on Wednesday are:

Patrick Ianni

Benji Joya

Steven Kinney

Sanna Nyassi

Florent Sinama-Pongolle

Kyle Reynish

Gonzalo Segares

Bakary Soumare

Greg Cochrane

Matthew Fondy

Marco Franco

Hunter Jumper

Alex Kann

Grant Ward

In Cochrane’s case the Fire did pick up his option but left him unprotected for the expansion draft. It’s also still possible that Ward could be back although his loan deal has expired and he has returned to Tottenham.

Here’s the complete list of players available for NYCFC and Orlando on Wednesday. Clubs can remove one player from the list once one of their players is selected. Teams can only lose a maximum of two players on Wednesday. It should also be noted that this list is only the names of players available in the expansion draft and not necessarily the list of players that will be available via the Re-Entry draft.

In other news, the official signing of former Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is expected soon. Stephens spent the last season with Bob Bradley’s Stabaek.

Filed under: 2014 Post Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Why is Yallop obsessed with Alex? Sure, he can play at a whole bunch of positions, but he's nothing to write home about at any of them.

  • Guys it's just amazing what a mess the fire are in comparison to the other club. When you think that Nyarko and McGee are both coming off serious operations and Anangano and Earnshaw will not make the team it only leaves 7 moderate players plus some students to make up the team. Hopefully people wait and see what is in hand for the team before investing in the team.

  • Is Stephens any good?

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Led Stabaek in assists last season with seven. He also had the highest assist total for rookies in his first season with the Gals. Of course it helps when you have players who can finish...

  • In reply to Modibo:

    thanks! just read that this morning as well. sounds like a solid pick-up.

  • So Ward has enough sense to get out of here or Tottenham rather have him back? Sorry to see him go.. nice potential there.

    What a mess this club are. Who's our tough guy that can handle a Germaine Jones or a Robbie Keane? Big Red? Come on.. we need to get bigger and stronger and more athletic. We get pushed around way to easily.

  • Bumsteer, Big Red does not even count in my book as the guy who would boss the other team. In his previous role as a defensive mid he would do that but as a CB his job is different. The sad thing is, the list is even worse without him - Alex? Cocis? Ritter? Those guys are not going to stand up to most stout center mids in the league.

    Worse, look at the guys who were traded for in yesterday - there were at least two decent CB options in Borchers and Collin. Granted both are on the older side, and Collin either had an off-year last year or is on the downward side of his career, but it'd be hard to argue that either would be any worse than our current CBs. So either we have zero decent trade bait, the FO is clutching to every asset (allocation money, international spots, draft picks) and doesn't want to deal, or Yallop/Bliss didn't rate them.

    As for holding on to Earnshaw and Anangono, I think Guillermo explained pretty clearly that the Fire had no choice - league rules dictated that they protect them. It's stupid, but it's the Don's fault, not the Fire FO. As for Magee and Nyarko, even if coming off injuries, they're still the biggest offensive weapons we have (Igboananike to be determined), and could probably generate something in a trade. And yeah, I find value in the fact that Nyarko's spent his entire pro career with the Fire and that Magee's local.

    I just wish that the organization could nurture youngsters like Benji Joya and Marco Franco. Where's our USL affiliate to give them minutes? What's the use of the academy if we can't find a way to get Pineda on the field after how many years? How can we legitimately claim Shipp as an academy product when he played, what, one year there? He grew up in other clubs and with Notre Dame more than with the Fire. If you're not going to spend on acquisitions then you have to find a way to grow the next generation of players. Shopping for cast-offs is only going to get you so far. I'd rather have local bargain bin players representing the team than carpetbaggers like Anangono and journeymen like Ianni, with all due respect to those players.

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    Surprised they didn't protect Ward, there are several on the protected list I wouldn't have on my team in the first place.
    Don't know how much Stephens will contribute, both Nyarko and Magee are still question marks and doubtful if they can return to their top form. Magee will never have another season like 2013.
    So far I'm not impressed with the Fire's off season moves, need some talent, not just bit and role players to fill up the roster.
    Like a dope I renewed in October, I should have waited because at this point I would have not renewed.

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